Master's Program Admissions

Requirements for Application

The application process for both Master's Programs is the same. Qualified University of Chicago college students who wish to pursue a joint AM degree in social work at SSA should consult with the AB/AM adviser in the College and with the Director of Admissions at SSA as soon as their first year, but no later than early in their third year.

Please note that our programs all start in the Autumn Quarter with the exception of the Advanced Standing Master's Program, which starts in the summer.

The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and SSA's criteria for admission to either Master's Program must include an earned baccalaureate degree from a college or university accredited by a recognized regional accrediting association. Baccalaureate social work graduates entering master's social work programs are not to repeat what has been achieved in their baccalaureate social work programs. We require an undergraduate degree in social work (BSW) for applicants to the Social Work and Social Welfare (SW) Advanced Standing Master's Program. ALL applicants must have completed at least one course in each of the following tracks:

  • Humanities (examples: fine arts, history, languages, literature, music, philosophy, or religion);  

  • Physical and Biological sciences and Mathematics (examples: biology, calculus, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, physics, or statistics); and

  • Social Sciences (examples: anthropology, economics, education, ethnic studies, gender studies, human development, international relations, political science, psychology, social work, or sociology).

Most applicants have majored in psychology or sociology, though we do accept applicants from a wide variety of academic backgrounds. 

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at

Financial Aid

Over 95 percent of SSA master’s students receive merit- and need-based tuition gift aid. Each year, SSA awards full and partial tuition scholarships. To be eligible for SSA gift aid, you must fill out the SSA Financial Data section in the online application.  Second- and third-year students may also re-apply for gift aid each year. 99% of returning students have their gift aid renewed.

The majority of our students use Federal financial aid in the form of student loans and work study funds to bridge the gap between their SSA tuition gift aid and the cost of attendance.  To be eligible for federal financial aid, you must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The institutional code for the FAFSA is 001774.

Visit SSA

Plan a campus visit to attend one of our information sessions and meet with the Office of Admissions. If you can’t make it to Chicago, we can arrange an informational interview with a current student or SSA alumnus in your area.